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Appraising the reliability of visual impact assessment methodsAuthor(s): Nickolaus R. Feimer; Kenneth H. Craik; Richard C. Smardon; Stephen R.J. Sheppard
Source: In: Elsner, Gary H., and Richard C. Smardon, technical coordinators. 1979. Proceedings of our national landscape: a conference on applied techniques for analysis and management of the visual resource [Incline Village, Nev., April 23-25, 1979]. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-35. Berkeley, CA. Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Exp. Stn., Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture: p. 286-295
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Pacific Southwest Research Station
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DescriptionThis paper presents the research approach and selected results of an empirical investigation aimed at the evaluation of selected observer-based visual impact assessment (VIA) methods. The VIA methods under examination were chosen to cover a range of VIA methods currently in use in both applied and research settings. Variation in three facets of VIA methods were investigated: (1) the descriptive landscape attributes which serve as the basis for ratings; (2) the rating procedure employed; and (3) the mode of landuse activity simulation. Research participants consisted of USDI Bureau of Land Management (BLM) staff and university environmental planning and management students with prior VIA training, Research participants were assigned to one of three experimental groups, with each group rating 35 mm photo slide representations of 4 scenes using some combination of the various rating procedures. The scenes employed are representative of typical landscapes and land-use activities in BLM's administrative jurisdiction. Reliability coefficients for the various rating methods are presented. Observed trends in the reliability coefficients indicate that reliabilities are: (1) low for ratings based on small numbers of observers; (2) higher for ratings of scenes before the imposition of landuse activity impacts than for ratings of scenes after the imposition of impacts; (3) higher for direct ratings of landscape attributes than for ratings of the degree of contrast, or change, imposed upon landscape attributes by landuse activities, and (4) higher for BLM's visual contrast rating method when the visual impact is simulated by photographic representation rather than brief verbal descriptions and artists' sketches.
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CitationFeimer, Nickolaus R.; Craik, Kenneth H.; Smardon, Richard C.; Sheppard, Stephen R.J. 1979. Appraising the reliability of visual impact assessment methods. In: Elsner, Gary H., and Richard C. Smardon, technical coordinators. 1979. Proceedings of our national landscape: a conference on applied techniques for analysis and management of the visual resource [Incline Village, Nev., April 23-25, 1979]. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-35. Berkeley, CA. Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Exp. Stn., Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture: p. 286-295
- Descriptive approaches to landscape analysis
- Setting technical standards for visual assessment procedures
- Rating reliability and representation validity in scenic landscape assessments
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